Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker’s well-executed crossing of the Rappahannock River fords above Fredericksburg on April 30, 1863 placed most of his rejuvenated and reorganized Army of the Potomac on General Robert E. Lee’s vulnerable flank. Rather than retreat before this sizable Federal force, Lee opted to attack Hooker while he was still within the thick undergrowth of the Wilderness. After making contact with Lee on May 1st along the Orange Turnpike east of the Chancellor house, Hooker pulled his men back and surrendered the initiative to Lee. Late that night, Lee and Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson conceived one of the boldest plans of the war. Jackson, with 30,000 Confederates, would follow a circuitous route to the Union right and from there conduct an attack on that exposed flank. The May 2nd flank attack stunned the Union Eleventh Corps and threatened Hooker’s position, but the victorious Confederate attack ended with the accidental mortal wounding of Jackson. On May 3rd, the Confederates resumed their offensive and drove Hooker’s larger army back to a new defensive line nearer the fords that held for two days. Swinging east, Lee then defeated a separate Federal force near Salem Church that had threatened his rear. Having divided and successfully fought his outnumbered army four times in the face of superior numbers, Lee's victory at Chancellorsville is widely considered to be his greatest of the entire war.